After leaving The Priory six months ago, Michelle Heaton is enjoying the benefits of life without booze or drugs.
In our new interview, the former Liberty X star, who was days away from death when admitted to the treatment centre in April, reveals she has seen a huge an improvement in her physical health since becoming sober, although admits to some ongoing issues.
“I still suffer with problems with my pancreas and have to take medication, but my liver is fully repaired and I’m really healthy,” the 42 year old told OK! at our Christmas shoot.
“I enjoy food and life is so much better.”
The singer explained she’s “not looking through a haze now” after overcoming her alcohol addiction, which at its peak saw her consume up to two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka a day.
“It didn’t happen overnight, but I can appreciate things," she explained.
“I used to hate the word content. When Hugh [Hanley, her husband] used to use it, I'd go mental, as I’d think it meant settling. I’d argue with him.
“Now I understand what content means – it’s serenity and to have peace. I believe I’ve got that now.”
Family time is a priority for Michelle and Hugh, who are looking forward to her first sober Christmas.
The couple share two children, Faith, nine, and seven year old AJ, and Hugh told us he's excited about having his wife around this festive season.
"We’re going to Lapland UK, which we’re really excited for," he said.
"It will be the first time Michelle has been around to do the pick-up on the last day of school and the first Christmas Eve she’s been home with the kids, as she would usually be away doing panto."
And when it comes to having nerves around this typically boozy time of year, Michelle told us: "I can be around alcohol without any obsession to drink. We have our decorations up already and I’m really looking forward to it.
"It’s the first year I’ve not done panto for as long as I can remember.
"So to not have work, be present at home, sober and well, and not have died – as that’s where I was heading – it could have ended so differently. I feel lucky to be alive."
Interview by Anna Matheson. To read Michelle and Hugh's full chat – and see all the pictures from their beautiful OK! Christmas shoot – click here.
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